George Gordon First Nation announce findings of 14 possible burial sites

Officials with the George Gordon First Nation released details of possible burials found at the former Gordon’s Indian Residential School on Wednesday afternoon.

The search began with four areas of interest identified last fall, and through Ground Penetrating Radar 14 possible burial sites were located.

“In upcoming months, this area will be a priority,” Chief of the George Gordon First Nation Byron Bitternose said at a news conference Wednesday afternoon. “It is my hope that one day we will be able to tell our children the whole story of what their great grandparents, grandparents, parents and siblings endured.”

Chief Bitternose added the work is far from complete.

“Until then, we ask the larger communities to respect this time as we work to alleviate emotional and spiritual impact this day has on our community.”

It was noted at the news conference by Sarah Longman, a member of the George Gordon First Nation, the next steps will include expanding the search area, and added this will likely be a 10-year journey to complete the process.

The school was established by the Anglican Church of Canada in 1888 and operated until 1996, making it one of the longest-running residential schools.

The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation has a record of 49 student deaths there and the commission’s final report called the school one of the worst run in the entire residential system.

(With files from GX94Radio)

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